Fud for thought

Dateline: Thu 10 Jun 2010

from Eve Tushnet's blog, in the beginning (2001, when she launched):

"For the record, I'm not a fan of the fake posing as 'unbiased' that characterizes both the New York Times and FoxNews. Journalists should have a philosophy, something that they believe to be true, something that can guide their actions. That philosophy will almost certainly have some controversial elements. Those controversial elements will color what journalists think is newsworthy (as in the famous NYT headline that went, approx., "Crime Falls, Though Jails Still Full") and how they cover events."

I agree with Tushnet. This relates a bit back to Helen Thomas' uproarious comments. Of cousre she had a world view. In fact, she was paid to express it in print as a columnist.

The problem with Thomas' statements about Israel, Jews, etc., was that she showed profound ignorance of history, and she came off sounding vicious.

Sorry to bring up an old beef. But I do think Tushnet has nailed it; nobody is neutral. (Nor, she argues, would you really want reporters who are so bland as to have no points of view...Now, would you?)


hendy [Member] said:

There's anger over Israel's actions. Even if you DO know history, there's a sense of deep unfairness, partitioning of Israel and Jerusalem, and profound angst over Israeli policy-- no matter your political stripe or persuasion.

Thomas didn't do a very good job of articulating this sentiment. Some are aghast at her history faux pas.

Journalists are supposed to tell it like it is, not as they'd like it. That duty comes from a human, who by their nature, are biased in some way. But that bias can also show inclusiveness, dedication to peaceful solutions as a goal, and has a duty to both sides (or the many vectors) of a question to get facts right.

After all, we're all entitled to our opinions, but we're not entitled to our facts.

2010-06-11 08:52:50

Z [unverified] said:

"Journalists are supposed to tell it like it is, not as they'd like it. That duty comes from a *human,* who by *their* nature, *are* biased . . ."

Are journalists also expected to mangle the grammar in the name of political correctness?

Or do you not have the cojones to "tell it like it is"?

2010-06-11 10:42:38

hendy [Member] said:

That's why copy editors are so important.

And why you should take your meds today.

2010-06-11 11:21:28

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

This is a very interesting subject, Ruth.

Obviously, every journalist is going to have opinions - unless he or she has undergone a frontal lobotomy.

But I think too often these days that some of those opinions are being expressed in what should be unbiased reporting. I see a lot more of it in The Star than I've seen in the past.

Disclaimer: I'm not writing this as a Fox Network disciple and/or a Glen Beck apostle. I consider myself to be liberal on most issues of the day.

These days, I'm finding quite a bit of conservative bias in news reporting. Sometimes, I wonder if CNN news has become another official branch of the U.S. military and no one has told us about it.

I guess they figure that if it works for Beck ($35-plus million a year I'm told), then it might work for them.

2010-06-11 13:46:34

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Just realized that it's Glenn Beck instead of Glen.

Guess I need a copy editor. Sad to think I used to be one.

2010-06-11 13:53:24

ruthholl [Member] said:

Did I spell Mellenkamp wrong? Now I've gone all paranoid.

2010-06-11 16:18:08

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Yeah, Ruth, it is Mellencamp.

No need to be paranoid. People who don't make mistakes from time to time scare me.

You do a great job with this blog. Big hugs from the guy with the Santa Claus face.

2010-06-12 00:35:19

Marycatherine Barton [unverified] said:

If I could chime in about dear Helen, whose direct questions about issues dear to me, she directed to presidents, will be sorely missed, the context of her statement and whether we know what all she actually said, are relevant also. I mean, this taping happened about a month ago, on the grounds of the White House where people were attending an event re Jewish Heritage month, set by Obama. Maybe, it was a social event and she had had a drink. Certainly, I am told that did not know she was being filmed, and maybe the mike was hidden.

Since the establishment of a Jewish government in Israel, Americans and other nonp-displaced Jews have continually bought land in Israel, to the point of violating international law by their settlements, and hurting the Palestinians. We all know that in '06, Israel demolished Lebanon, and the beautiful city of Beirut has been destroyed by it and its allies.

Let me just end with that. Whoever wanted to get Thomas out of the White House press corps succeeded, and we are the worse for that.

2010-06-12 01:48:54

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